Life without Anorexia

My motto is
'Dont let the sadness of your past & the fear of your future ruin the happiness of your present'

My life at the moment is completely different to how it once was. I spent 5 years sick with anorexia nervosia and depression as well as struggling with self harm and overexercising. I spent 2 years in different treatment centres.
And since 2012 i have been declared healthy from my eating disorder.

I have been blogging for 7 years, and my whole journey is written in my posts. I now represent healthy and happiness. I want to show anyone struggling that it is possible to recover, no matter how hard it may seem.

I now blog about recovery, my life, veganism and positivity!

If you have any questions leave them in the comment section as i am much quicker at answering there, otherwise you can always send an email: lifewithoutanorexia@hotmail.com

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Friday, August 24, 2012

How to maintain your healthy weight?

This is a strange question but when you were declared "healthy" did anyone talk to you about maintaining your weight? Like how to do it? Are you eating any differently than when you were trying to gain weight? Exercising more? How will you make sure that you won't keep gaining? Is it hard to break the habit of eating more to gain weight? Or does it just come naturally? Sorry for all the questions but this is bothering me a lot. I'm scared that once I gain what I need to to be healthy, I won't know how or be able to stop. Sorry to bother you :(

Dont worry, you're not bothering me! Im glad you asked.

Really, im not so sure if i can answer this or not... this is something i have always wondered and worried about. I remember when i was pendling up and down 2kg, and i didnt know how to gain the last few kilos, and i was scared & worried. Because then i thought, Ill be healthy...Then what? Im no longer sick, i dont need to gain weight. What do i do? Do i eat less? Exercise more..?
  I remember spending whole days and sleepless nights worrying about that question... what happens next.
  And i just realised, nobody talked to me about that. Im actually very angry about it.
 I had just gained 58kg, when my case manager was like yeah, you're getting declared healthy. Really, you're supposed to hold your weight for a certain while, whether its a few weeks or a few months. To show that you can hold it, its part of the criteria.
  For me, i had only just about gained the weight....

I dont have a wieghing scale, and i dont care about the number so i dont know if ive gained weight or lost. I dont even check at the gym anymore, i just dont care about the number. Of course, sometimes in hte back of my head, i wonder... Have i gained more weight? I look bigger... So i can worry about that sometimes, but as we dont have a scale, i cant check... and thats a good thing. Because i think if i realised i suddenly wieghed 59 or 60kg, if i was having a bad day, then i might jsut feel bad, otherwise i wouldnt care. Because i know that there is wwater weight and you weigh different at different times... thats how it is.

Sometimes i wish though that i had been drinking supplement drinks to gain weight, because then i would know that i could stop with them....
  And i exercised, regularly. Running and going to the gym, and it was moderate/intense.. so i cant and shouldnt up my exercise... so sometimes i am worried that... if i keep eating like i do (Because i havent cut down... or ihave because of stress. But not consciously because im trying to hold a weight.) and exercise the same will i keep going up?
  
I cant be sure of an answer, but i can give you my opinion and what ive learnt, and what i believe.

Everyones body is different, some people are healthy at a lower BMI, some people need a higher BMI to function. That's how it is.
   There is a certain wieght, where you body functions best, and when you reach that weight, roughly. Then your body wants to stay that way, and it can take alot for you to either gain weight or lose wieght. Because your body wants to stay that weight, so it can function.
  So for me, yeah, maybe i might gain another kilo or two... and then it might stop... doesnt matter if i eat loads more or eat loads less... my body will try to hold that wiegght. Because that is where my body is best.
   So yeah, another kilo or two... what will anyone notice? I dont care about the number, and i dont think id notice if i had gained another kilo.
  
So really, im not so worried about maintaining my weight, i eat how much my body needs. Somedays of course i eat more, or eat alot of junk food and other days i eat less.... thats how it should be. And my body functions, and goes up and down in weight, and i dont even realise.
   Im just not trying to be so controlling, because that is also sick. I am not going tos tart counting calories or upping my exercise.. because im trying to maintain a weight?
  I wont suddenly go up 10kg because i keep eating the same way, and the fact is, i am still going to go to Mandos 5 year program, which means that i will still be weighed there, and if my new case maanger notices that... Wow, shes gained 2kg in a month, then she will have to say it, because she will realise that im still eating to gain weight.
  So then of course, i might have to cut down on something...

Of course, i cant imagine doing that!! Not purposely anyway!!! haha... I love food :)
 
Of course, sometimes i worry because i know that for the past year, i have been eating to gain weight,. What happens now..? Now im a healthy BMI and if i dont want to, i dont ened to gain anymore weight.
  Ive had many sleepless nights, while i was trying to gain weight... thinking, what do i do when i dont need to gain anymore? How do i eat then?
  I remember making a list once, writing down what i would eat when ididnt have to gain anymore...
  the list was basically. Banana for breakfast. Salad for lunch. an apple for snack, dinner.
  I mean...? WTF. thats how i thought i would ahve to eat to maintain... but really, im eating the same as usual. Eating what my body needs.
 
I think it comes naturally that you eat less, because you learn to listen to your bodies need. And if your body is heatlhy, it doesnt constantly need loads of food, and extra.
 
I do alot of training and weight training, so i also know that i do need extra, as when im trying to build muscle. I have to work so hard that i breakdown my muscles and then eat extra protein and carbs, so that my muscles repair themselves and get even stronger/bigger.
  And because of my other illness, CF, i also need a very high calorie intake. 
 
It is different for everyone, some people have it easier to gain weight. Then they might have ti cut down, and of course how much physical activity you have also counts.
  If you have alot of activity, then you may not need to change what you eat.
 
But when you recover, you learn to understand your signals.... how much you need. And you might not have to eat a huge dinner and dessert everyday, its enough with just a normal dinner and a fruit later on... or i dont know...?

I hope you got some answers? But i was and am still confused and worried about it. And i wish i had been given advice about it, so i know how to maintain my weight.
  But im not so worried about it, as i know that my body will sort all that out. If it needs a little extra weight, then im sure i will gain it.

:)

5 comments:

  1. I think you are behaving in the right way.
    Recovery is about not worrying anymore about the number on the scales, but of course we know that we can have a bad day in which we are just more fragile.
    I don't own a scale either and I NEVER weigh myself. Only when I'm at the doctors, but then I don't look.
    That is my "trick" not to relapse.
    For the rest, I enjoy my food, my life and I try to exercise regularly, just like you do. :)

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  2. Hi, Izzy. Thanks for answering my question :) It still really bothers me, but I suppose I will just do what I can once I'm at a healthy weight. And if I do gain a little weight I suppose it's not the end of the world right? Thanks again. This was very useful :)

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  3. Thanks this is a very important question that i've been and am asking myself all the time...thanks for the post Izzy!:)
    It makes me angry that this is something noone discusses with you...that you don't get informed about how actually to MAINTAIN:/ I mean they're all like yeah, 2500-3000 minimum to gain...eat lots etc...once you're at a healthy weight and since noone told you how to maintain and you start researching, all you find is how to cut back on food, how to eat 'healthier'...the information you get on weight maintainance is mostly itended for people who have been on a WEIGHT LOSS PROGRAMME...it freaks me out:p

    Ever since I reached a healthy weight - don't know but I THOUGHT I was eating enough (just started listening to hunger/fullness feelings, not measuring and counting) - but fact is i've been steadily losing weight and I still am. There are still a lot of foods I don't want to or can't eat without freaking out or having a bad conscience...maybe me not eating sweets or junk food, having more foods that contain sugar or fat or eating sauces is why I can't maintain - I don't knoe. I eat like all sorts of healty foods though...sugar, fats...but maybe not enough of it.

    Basically I think one can eat the same foods like in weight recovery - I haven't changed mine;) Intake requirements may be higher than before anorexia and also depend on what kind of exercise you're doing...usually I think the body adapts to maintainance naturally, like Izzy said, the body WANTS to stay at its healthy weight, within a healthy weight frame that is...where 2 kilos up and down won't make much difference...

    I think it just takes a lot of psychical effort too to cope with maintainance...cuz we always like to think of 'cutting' and 'purifying' our diet or increasing our exercise. We have to realise that our bodies can actually take a lot and that we won't balloon from a occasional piece of cake or some junk food...that it would take sometime of eating like that until the body shows any signs of it.....

    It's so hard to eat for maintainance but we gotta hang in there and avoid slipping back into the vicious ana circle of cutting back/out etc...:)

    I hope you'll keep us posted on how you're dealing with it, Izzy, and that we'll continue to discuss this really important topic on your site:)

    xxx

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  4. This is a really great post :) I was never told how to maintain my weight after I had reached a healthy weight either, and I think that was part of what caused my relapse. I had thought that I would have to restrict somewhat to maintain my weight and stop gaining- and I ended up losing everything I gained! You have a very healthy attitude about weight now, which is really inspiring!! Maybe you could do a post about your CF, I think that would be really interesting :) xx

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  5. is cf cystic fibrosis?

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